Friday, 4 May 2012

Microsoft Facing Potential Bans in Germany

Microsoft faces a potential blackout from an entire country over a legal decision.

This is the only news piece I'm doing this week, but boy is it a doozie. It came down the pipe not too long ago that Motorola Mobility -- a company that Microsoft is currently in heavy litigation with over alleged patent infringements -- has won an injunction that would effectively prohibit the sale of Microsoft products in Germany. This prohibition would not only include the Xbox 360, but also Windows 7 and even Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

Now, as the article I linked mentions, even though Motorola has won this injunction they are under orders from U.S. court not to enforce this ban until state-side legal proceedings are over. As of right now there isn't a high threat of Motorola enforcing the ban, lest they earn the ire of the U.S. court. Microsoft has also taken steps in case the Seattle court sides with Motorola, choosing to move their European distribution centre to the Netherlands out of Germany earlier this year.

There's little doubt that if Microsoft loses the court case in the U.S. that it will seek to appeal to a higher level if at all possible, but the ramifications of an entire area being unable to receive Microsoft products can't really be denied or underwritten. Being a game blog I'm of course interested in the potential fallout that not being able to sell the Xbox 360 or the currently in development next generation console to a decent part of the European market is an incredibly harsh blow to both the company and potentially interested gamers. This is to say nothing on the PC front considering that Windows OS would also be unable to be sold.

As far as I know this doesn't mean that people will have to turn in their consoles or anything (that would be going a little crazy), but issues of potential blocking of things like firmware updates and hardware concerns are still looming large. The decision for this case is still likely a ways off, but look for more coverage as there are further developments.

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